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Online Teaching Toolkit

This toolkit was developed in response to immediate needs associated with programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help people transition to online teaching, a group of Dibble clients from around the country shares and developed ideas and strategies for facilitating Dibble Programs across large and small, rural and urban communities. Their suggestions for online lesson-by-lesson implementation of our programs can be accessed by Dibble clients. Contact us at for links to the materials

Most importantly, we learned that there is no one way to conduct an online program. Every organization and community have different needs and circumstances. We offer these resources below to help you as you determine what will work best for your organization in your community.

Mind Matters Minutes are free short practices you could share at the beginning of virtual sessions!

As you design your online implementation strategy, keep in mind these tips:

Using Digital Tools to Improve Online Engagement – Tip Sheet

Tips for Online

  • Remember that nonverbal cues are absent in the virtual world, and there may be limits to your video-conferencing tools. You can help combat these issues by using a WIDE variety of interactive tools.
  • Try using Mentimeter: Q&A, wordclouds, discussion, polls, etc.
  • Kahoots are good, but they can get really old
  • Look for and use additional external tools – the more variety at first, the better because it gives youth multiple ways to engage with the content.
  • Check in with your youth to ask about what activities they do and don’t like. Don’t just assume you know.
  • Engage students as soon as you start the call. Welcome them by name, ask if they prefer nicknames.
  • Get connected: Ask unrelated and fun questions to get started
  • Try 2-3 “Would you rather..?” questions. Have each student answer. ie. “If you had to give up one of these three, what would it be? Pizza, Nachos, or Ice cream?”
  • Ask students to share favorite music
  • Tie in student responses throughout multiple classes to show that you are paying attention to them
  • Try using incentives like Gift cards, fast food, or a Disney+ subscription for students.
  • Ask students to find music that ties to the theme of the lesson they just learned. Have a contest with prizes for the best song(s).
  • Flipped Classrooms – give students the content (workbook pages and video clips) to work on in advance, then use class time to have them interact with the materials.
  • Send print materials home for students to work on with their regular classwork.
  • Invite teaching staff from outside your organization (ie classroom teachers) to a ZOOM meeting to learn from each other and develop community.

Tips for Hybrid

  1. Make an ally of the adult in the room with the students. Acknowledge them as part of your team, and ask for their assistance in reading the room during activities. They can also give you tips and information about your students that may inform your facilitation methods.
  2. Flipped Classrooms – give students the content (workbook pages and video clips) to work on in advance, then use class time to have them interact with the materials.
  3. Send print materials home for students to work on with their regular classwork.

Creating a Safe Space

  • In a virtual setting, ask 3 things before starting sensitive content
  • Ask the adult responsible for the youth, or a counselor to be present
  • Ask youth to create their own safe space around them at home before you begin (i.e. pillow fort, quiet room, etc)
  • Ask youth to get a pair of earbuds so the conversation does not extend to others in the room around them.
  • Allow youth to change their virtual background so they are more comfortable with their cameras on. Allow them some grace and space over difficult material when it comes to having their cameras turned on.
  • Use framing and debriefing before starting sensitive content.
  • Timing is everything, don’t end and begin the next section in the middle of difficult material
  • Frame and debrief the conversation.
  • Explain WHY you are going to be covering the content, rather than just WHAT you will cover
  • Before starting content, create a group agreement as a class. Let them know what is coming and make a plan for how you will support each other through it.
  • Check in with your students
  • Privately message them during class
  • Go around the room asking if they have questions, so it does not call out one person
  • Make a habit of staying after class so you can be present for questions or concerns.
  • Encourage students to confide in a trusted adult.
  • If the comments or questions are disrupting to the whole class, try having a “Parking lot.” Ask the student for permission to talk about it together privately after class and revisit it later.  This also puts the other adults in the room on notice that this agreement is taking place.

Dive into Facilitating XYZ – a free online resource for all facilitators. We especially like this video on facilitating on camera.

  • Aiming 4 Healthy Families created this Zoom Social Agreement for their students.
  • Tips for Virtual Parent & Caregiver Engagement during Social Distancing
    Parents and other caregivers of adolescents play a key role in supporting young people and helping them navigate adolescence as they transition toward adulthood. This tip sheet provides you with strategies you can use to reach out to parents virtually and provide them with support and information to help them cope with the challenges during times of stress and change, such as the current public health pandemic

If you intend to use digital face-to-face meetings in your program facilitation, consider the tips in this article when setting up:

“Facilitating On-Camera: A Jumpstart into Video-Based Facilitation” from Facilitation XYZ

Zoom (Non-profits get half off at TechSoup. Plan ahead, it can take some time.)
Zoom offers large face-to-face digital meeting rooms with capabilities for breakout rooms, polling, whiteboards, and more. Check your organization’s policies to see if Zoom is an approved platform. Here are some articles to give best practice tips for using Zoom:

Best Practices for Securing Your Virtual Classroom
How to Keep Uninvited Guests Out of Your Zoom Event

Google classroom
Google Classroom is a paid service allowing instructors to share files and manage student submissions for remote learning.

Nearpod is an instructional platform in real-time with capabilities for slide presentations, open-ended questions, quizzes, discussions, and more. Participation is anonymous to other students.

Canvas is a cloud-based classroom management system complete with file sharing, assignment submission, quizzes, and more.

Blackboard is another learning management system for managing courses online in a comprehensive digital experience.

Google Hangout
Google Hangouts provide another option for video conferencing features for class interaction. All participants need a Google Account.

Facebook Live
Facebook Live gives an option of filming class lectures in real-time with chat interaction in the comments section from participants. Facebook Live videos are saved as replay videos after their completion.

YouTube Live
YouTube is another place for live streaming and comment features. Be careful what permissions and viewing is available to others if you want to protect classroom interaction.

AirTable is a flexible database/spreadsheet management system for scheduling, progress tracking, and more.

A free, fun, interactive, and competitive quizzing method for instructors. Kahoot can be used to deliver questions if true/false, multiple choice, puzzle, poll, open-ended,  and slide formats.

Qualtrics is a detailed survey and data collection service to accurately poll participants. allows the instructor to send text or email reminders to participants with encouragement, details for submission items, or upcoming meeting times while maintaining confidentiality of phone numbers and emails.
Mentimeter allows the instructor to  get real-time input from online participants using polls, quizzes, word clouds, Q&As and more. It is a great option for synchronous learning.

PowToon makes instructional videos easy with animated art and pictures to acccompany content.

PowerPoint Games
PowerPoint games give students a fun and interactive way to get content learning on their own or during a synchronous class session.

Survey Monkey
Survey Monkey is a paid service that collects data from survey questions from students using their email or mobile phone.

Ziteboard is a lightweight whiteboard website which works on any device: laptops, tablets, mobile devices – optimized for both iPad’s Safari and Google Chrome on laptops.

Mural is a collaborative whiteboard experience online with a smooth and easy interface for creating notes and diagrams.

Roll a Die
Roll a Die is an online dice rolling simulator to show the odds of certain numbers. You can customize the number of times the dice is rolled and see how often numbers reoccur.

Quizziz is a free quiz platform to collect data from students. They are presented in a game form.

Use this app to turn photos into videos with music in the background.

A simple, yet powerful video editor for making music videos.

Wheels Decide and Tools-Unite

Two great apps to modify activities where you need to “pick something out of a hat” or make random assignments.

If you plan to record your lessons (either pre-recorded or recording a live lesson), please let us know and we will grant you a license for that as well. In this case, we would want you to share that recording with us.

We’d like to express our deep appreciation to the following clients who shared their creative ideas for moving instruction online!

Aiming for Healthy Families (MS)
Nikki Harvell
Sylvia Dick
Tracy Barber

Community College Foundation (CA)
Darryl Marini

Community Services Learning Center of Lexington (MS)
Beulah Greer
Gail Brown

Delaware Adolescent Program, Inc. (DE)
Eileen Wilkerson

Eastern Utah Women’s Health (UT)
Danielle Price

Healthy Visions (OH)
Jonelle Zachary

Adam Simmons

Life Skills, Empowerment and Development Services (FL)
Vicki Draeger

More Than Conquerors (GA)
Phillippia Faust

OMNI Youth Services (IL)
Brenda Najera
Sharena Domingo

SR1 (MS)
DorLisa Hutton

Strong Families, Strong Wyoming (WY)
Jackie Parker
Jerry Ferris
Kelsey Giroux
Tammy Fletcher

University of Texas – Teen Health (TX)
Jenn Todd

Esmerelda Jeffries

Urban League of the Upstate (SC)
Charlene Jones

Urban Strategies LLC (VA)
John Lewis

Youth and Family Services (SD) 
Cory Odle
Mary Ann Slanina

And Others…
Adam Simmons
Antwan Clark & Co.
Ashley Williams
Ben Fichter
Bridgett Sumner
Charles Maxwell
Denise Lewis
Jasmira Ross

How to join a Zoom meeting

How to be a Zoom participant

For Zoom-related issues, please visit the Zoom help center, which includes other video tutorials and FAQs.